A statue of a beloved Polish priest and freedom fighter, Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, which sits across from McCarren Park was vandalized on May 5. A black plastic bag covered the statue’s head, trash was strewn around its base, and “No Polish” was written on the stone base. Many don’t know that the rough-hewn stone base includes the shape of Poland.
Once news of this spread on social media, locals came to help clean up the statue. On May 8th a teach-in was held at Father Jerzy Popiełuszko square, the statue’s home. The statue is currently surround by red and white flowers and candles (the colors of the Polish flag).
As a young Roman Catholic priest Jerzy Popiełuszko joined with the workers in their strike against the Warsaw Steelworks and supported the Solidarity movement’s opposition to the communist regime in Poland. His sermons were routinely broadcast by Radio Free Europe, and thus became famous throughout Poland as an anti-communist. His life ended when he was beaten to death by three agents of the Polish secret service for his anti-communist beliefs and encouragement of others to protest against the communist leadership.
The 94th Precinct is still investigating this. If you have any info about the vandalism call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477)